Pregnancy is a time of anticipation and preparation. As a new or expectant mother, it’s not uncommon to feel hesitant to participate in grand thanksgiving or holiday events during the season for fear of causing too much additional stress on the body and a growing fetus. Soon-to-be moms can, however, still participate in a variety of ways without worrying about too much added stress or physical exertion. Likewise, many women may feel even more gratitude during the season yet feel stuck with figuring out how to give-back.
Depending on the stage of pregnancy and any physical limitations the mother is currently experiencing, there are several ways to give-back during the holidays. To help you on your journey of giving, here are seven suggestions on possible approaches to being charitable, that can be perfectly safe during pregnancy.
Habitat for Humanity Participation
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that assists low-income families in constructing and owning their own homes. While the traditional way to give to this organization is volunteering to help construct homes or build shelters, there are numerous ways to become engaged if you want to that aren’t quite so physically demanding.
Reach out to your local organization to find out if any projects are in the works and if so, volunteer to help assist the volunteers with snacks and materials. The ultimate mom-prep for keeping volunteers well fueled to build. This is a safe approach for you to make a difference as an expectant mother, help a family in need and there’s no doubt the other volunteers will appreciate the extra support.
Volunteering with Animal Shelters
Many shelter animals spend their lives in confinement, with little human interaction, likewise, many shelters are currently overwhelmed at full capacity and a lack of staffing. As a pregnant or new mum, you can help give animals looking for a new home, some added care they may require by volunteering to assist in the shelter, scheduling regular visits at the shelter to simply give pets some attention or fostering until they find their permanent homes.
Some shelters may even allow you to volunteer to take the dogs for walks or play with the cats, or volunteer to work adoption events and help oversee adoption days. Additionally, you can donate needed items such as old bedding and towels, cat and dog toys, carriers, laundry detergent, or food and treats. If you have a good circle of friends, you can even volunteer to take photos or each available animal and make flyers or social media postings to help more individuals know which pets are available for a forever home.
Pregnancy-Inspired Giving at Charity Organizations
Various local organizations are designed specifically to help pregnant women and children in need. If you’re looking at helping other women during the pregnancy journey or children, locate an organization near you by searching the internet, asking friends and family, or contacting local organizations. Some shelters may require monetary donations only, and others may need certain types of products such as diapers, prenatal vitamins, maternity clothes, hygiene products, etc.
Blood Bank Volunteering
Blood banks are always in need of assistance, and while pregnant women are not eligible to donate blood, donating to a blood bank in other ways is a wonderful way to give back. The American Red Cross allows additional volunteer opportunities such as hosting a blood drive, or volunteering at blood drive events, transporting donations or becoming an advocate to help recruit blood donors.
Reach Out to a Crisis Center, Hospital, or Homeless Shelter
Volunteering is about more than just helping those in need. It’s also a great way to become engaged in the community, meet new people, and connect with other concerned parents. Look at reaching out to a local crisis center, hospital, or homeless shelter that supports pregnant women, children and families. Visit the organization’s website and acquaint yourself with the guidelines for more information on what you can achieve as a volunteer at one of these organizations or call the organization if there is something in particular you’d like to get involved with.
This can be volunteering to read or host activity events for kids, donating items that can help patients or children such as books, magazines, clothing, or toys. If you are crafty you can also see which organizations accept donations of handmade items such as scarves and beanie’s for the winter.
Participate in Charity Walks
This is another positive way to give back to your community as a pregnant woman. Participating in short charity walks allows you to earn money for an important cause while raising awareness about your chosen charity. You can walk with friends or family, or you can join an organized walk if one is near where you live or work. If walking a couple miles isn’t in the cards for you at this stage of your pregnancy, look into volunteering at the event and helping raise awareness from the sidelines.
Hold A Fundraiser
A fundraiser is another excellent idea for giving back in a pregnancy-safe way. To organize such a fundraiser, choose an organization and visit the organization’s website to see if they have a formal fundraiser event process or if you can simply donate after your event. Begin collecting money from community members and acquaintances, by asking for donations or selling items such as baby clothes or toys. When you amass the required amount, or your personal goal, it is time to give back. Here are a few ideas on how you can do this:
- Provide a monetary donation to the organization of your choosing, either in one donation, or having people donate directly through your personal donation event page on the organization’s website.
- Spend the money on diapers, formula, and other needed items for those families who don’t have access to these products. If you have a group of women you are collecting for personally, make sure that all new mums are aware of the fundraising event and, if they haven’t already, encourage them to sign up to be a recipient.
- Spend the money on buying food for homeless shelters or donating it directly to a local charity that assists struggling families.
Giving during pregnancy is an excellent way to express gratitude to your community and other women. As always, most organizations do accept cash donations, so if you find yourself short on time but still wanting to give back and help others in need, find an organization, local or national, that you want to help and find ways to donate cash via their website or by mailing a check.
We hope this helps spark some inspiration and ideas for pregnancy-safe ways of giving through the holidays and thank you in advance for paying it forward.